By US Daily Review Staff. Source: American Federation for Children.
After a series of wins around the country the school choice movement has faced major setbacks this past week. First it was New Jersey and now it is in North Carolina.
The American Federation for Children (AFC) yesterday expressed “disappointment” in the North Carolina House Finance Committee, which yesterday failed to advance a sweeping statewide school choice plan that would have granted scholarships to children from low-income families. The AFC is a national organization promoting school choice.
The organization also restated its commitment to ultimately seeing such legislation pass in the future.
Despite bipartisan support in committee and in the full General Assembly, the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program was defeated by an evenly split 11-11 vote, failing to earn the needed majority for advancement.
The scholarship tax credit program would allow corporations to receive tax credits for contributions to non-profit organizations that would grant scholarships to children from low-income families to attend the school of their parents’ choice.
“While we are disappointed by this news, we are committed to continue fighting for North Carolina’s children,” said Kevin P. Chavous, senior advisor to the American Federation for Children. “They deserve the absolute best education, and we’re confident that this is only a setback in the path towards the ultimate goal of giving parents the power to choose the best educational environment for their children.”
Legislators, parents, and reform advocates have already pledged to continue working to pass the plan, which is modeled after the highly-successful Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program.
“We thankfully have some strong and true leaders in the North Carolina legislature, and we’re already working with our allies in the state to get a quality scholarship tax credit program enacted next year,” Chavous said.
The disappointing result for the scholarship tax credit legislation in this session comes after North Carolina last year enacted an individual tuition tax credit for children with disabilities and eliminated the state’s arbitrary cap on the number of public charter schools.
This year continues to be a remarkable one of growth in the number of educational options available nationwide. There are now 31 publicly-funded private school choice school choice programs in 16 states and the District of Columbia, and during the 2011-12 school year, more than 210,000 children benefited from these programs across the country.